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Information Obesity

May 13, 2009
Carviar on spoon © Fancy/Veer/Corbis

Carviar on spoon © Fancy/Veer/Corbis

Recently, I came across a book by David Shrenk, Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut. In the book, Shrek talks about how information is produced at a much faster speed than we are able to process it. And this was back in 1997, mind you. I remember a line:

Information, once rare and cherished like caviar, is now plentiful and taken for granted like potatoes.

And you know potatoes are starchy carbohydrates. So, it is inevitable that Information Obesity sets in.

Information obesity, by the way, is the title of a new book by Andrew Whitworth, published by Chandos (Oxford, UK). Just as too much good food, or maybe just too much food can lead to physical obesity (I shall exercise tomorrow), information overload can lead to information obesity. But Whitworth also posits that there are other reasons responsible for information obesity.

Summary from the publisher:

This book is an exploration of information literacy and ICT skills education from the point of view of social and political theory. It uses these theories both to argue why the idea of information literacy is so important in the 21st century, and also to develop some teaching strategies to this end. The book argues that only through expanding the range of information literacy education – taking it beyond just formal school and university education and into homes, friendship networks and workplaces – can we construct an effective educational response to information technology in the 21st century. Information literacy includes, but transcends, ICT skills and ultimately is about being politically, socially and communicatively competent in an information society.

Wonder if it’s in our library?

Data Smog Surviving the Information Glut: Surviving the Information Glut
By David Shenk
Published by HarperCollins, 1997

Information Obesity
By Andrew Whitworth
Published by Chandos (Oxford, UK), 2009


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